Best Cheap Convertible Car Seats 2018 Compared and Rated

cheap car seat

​There are are people that may spend hundreds of dollars on getting the classiest and most expensive car seats while for you a functional car seat may be all you need. Maybe you have a small budget, or just need a spare car seat just in case the other one breaks down, then a cheap car seat will just do the trick.

Even as the more expensive options may have be more groovy or have more bells and whistles such as more buckles,padding, and height and weight adjustments, you need to remember that most car seats approved by the NHTSA have gone through the same rigorous testing standards and passed at least the basics in terms of safety for use with your children. 

The following are some of the best affordable car seats that you may buy for your baby.

Top Cheap Car Seats Under $100

Car Seat Brand PriceSafety RatingWeight (lbs)Warranty
1.Evenflo Tribute LX Saturn$45.994.3 Stars9.190 days
2.Disney APT Mouseketeer$54.994.4 Stars12-
3.Evenflo Tribute Sport$57.124.4 Stars12.1One Year
4.Safety 1st Guide 65$84.994.2 Stars15Two Years
5.Cosco Apt 50, Black Arrows$49.994.2 Stars11One Year

Factors to Consider When Buying an Inexpensive Car Seat

Even as most car seats have gone through the same vigorous standards of testing for safety, there are some few components of a car seat that you may need to take into account before you go ahead and buy any car seat. The following are the most important:

  • Comfort - This is a very important aspect of the car seat particularly if you intend to use the convertible car seat with children younger than eight. A good car seat needs to have lush padding, basic adjustable height settings
  • Durability - A good car seat even if cheap needs to be durable as the rule of thumb is the more durable the car seat the safer it is likely to be. Go for a car seat with higher manufacturer warranties
  • Safety - This is often the most important aspect of the car seat that you need to look for. Always go for a car seat with the highest safety ratings in its class
  • Cost - Given that you are buying a cheap car seat you need to find one that is most affordable that fulfills all the above prerequisites yet does not break the bank

Top Rated Budget Car Seats Reviews

Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat

The Evenflo Tribute Lx convertible car seat is one of the best convertible car seat you may buy at some of the most affordable prices.

Made by Evenflo one of the best companies for baby products that has been known to make some of the safest baby car seats for years you can be confident that your baby will be safe despite the affordable prices you pay

The seat also comes with most of the bells and whistles found on higher priced car seats such as the Britax Clicktight or the Chicco Keyfit​

Upfront harness adjustment

Upfront Harness Adjustment

2 Crotch Buckle Positions

2 Crotch Buckle Positions

Rear facinf reclien

Rear Facing Recline

machine washable pad

Machine-Washable Pad

4 Harness Positions

4 harness positions

head pillow

head pillow

  • The Evenflo car seat comes with four shoulder strap positions and a 5 point harness system making it a safe bet if you are concerned about safety
  • The car seat is compact and lightweight making it ideal for travel or if you move car seats from car to car often
  • Th seat has energy absorbent liners and foam making for a comfortable and safe ride for your child on those long journeys
  • Has a machine washable machine pad and metal and plastic parts that you could easily clean with soap and water for a clean car seat
  • The seat has met and exceeded Federal and Evenflo's in-house tests fro structural integrity and safety
  • The material is not the best in hot summer days as it could get really hot
  • It is not the easiest car seat to install or uninstall from the car even as it gives a tight fit once installed
  • The padding is not that lush and may be uncomfortable particularly if you plan on using the car seat on long rides

Evenflo Tribute LX Installation Video

Disney APT Convertible Car Seat, Mouseketeer Minnie

​The Disney APT Car seat is made for your very small newborn and comes with beautiful colors and great convenience and safety features

It is made for children between 19 and 43 inches in height and 5 and 40 pounds in weight​

5 point harness
integrated cup holders
5 point harness heights
side impact protection
  • With the Disney baby you can be confident that you can have safety and convenience as the child can ride in rear facing up to 40 pounds or in the forward facing mode from 22 pounds
  • The premium headrest and fabric that comes in adorable colors offers utmost comfort for your child and allows them to ride in style
  • Comes with three buckle locations and a five point harness that can easily be adjusted from the front for easy installation and optimum safety
  • It has high ratings for side impact protection and comes with LATCH for installation making it a very safe car seat
  • It is a little on the bigger side and hence may not be the best car seat if you plan on using it with small cars

Disney APT Convertible Car Seat Installation Video

Evenflo Tribute Sport Convertible Car Seat

The Evenflo Tribute Sport convertible car seat is one of the most popular car seats given its lightweight design and portability

​The seat also offers utmost convenience with its ergonomic shape making it a suitable fit for travel as the child can easily sleep in the car seat

4 Harness Positions with Upfront Adjustment

4 Harness Positions with Upfront Adjustment

2 Crotch buckle positions

2 Crotch Buckle Positions

Rear-facing Recline

Rear-facing Recline

  • The evenflo car seat is always a safe bet as a car seat for your child given that it is designed manufactured and tested according to Federal standards in the US
  • The evenflo is a very lightweight and compact car seat making it easy to carry around airports and install on airplanes for frequent travellers
  • You will not have to worry about installation with the evenflo as the seat comes with LATCH making for some of the easiest of installation procedures
  • The car seat comes with easy to clean metal and plastic parts and a machine washable cover ensuring that your vehicle remains clean and presentable particularly if you have toddler
  • The plush head pillow, harness and buckle covers offer utmost comfort for your baby during your trip
  • Comes with simple harness adjustment and four shoulder strap positions making it convenient for the growing child's needs
  • It has some of the lowest height limits of the car seats in its class
  • It can be particularly a pain to install the car seat with seat belts though I generally recommend that you use LATCH which is safer.
  • Not the best car seat in rear facing if you have a small car

Evenflo Tribute Sport Convertible Car Seat Installation Video

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat

The Safety First Guide 65 is one of the most versatile of car seats with a range of safety and convenience features making it a great choice at a great price

It will generally fit children in the rear facing mode between 5 and 40 pounds and in the forward facing mode between 22 and 65 pounds

fits three across
5 point harness
multiple position adjustable head support
removable cup holder
  • The safety first guide 65 comes with an easy to adjust headrest to give your child maximum comfort during the trip
  • Given its small size, this is one of those car seats you can use in small car seats as you can easily fit three car seats in the back seat
  • Has machine washable fabric cover making it easy to clean ensuring the car seat remains presentable for a long time
  • Comes with five harness height a five point harness and three buckle positions making it easily adjustable as the child grows
  • Its EPP energy absorbent foam makes for plush padding for utmost comfort and safety
  • Installation of the car seat particularly in the rear facing mode can be quite difficult for the first time user of the car seat
  • Compared to other car seats such as Graco or the Chicco, the harness straps are a bit on the flimsier side increasing the chance for twisting.

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat Installation Video

Cosco Apt 50, Realtree

The Cosco APT 50 is a great car seat with a lot of the convenience and safety features that are to be found in higher priced car seat.

5 point harness
integrated cup holders
machine washable pad
  • Allows for extended rear facing car seat use from 5 to 40 pounds ensuring your child is safer
  • If you have toddlers or are simply messy, the car seat comes with machine washable covers to make it easy to clean
  • Comes with three buckle locations and six harness heights that make the car seat suitable for the needs of your growing child
  • With its lightweight and compact design and its FAA approved status this is one of the best car seats if you love to travel
  • Comes with two cup holders so that you can pack in all the drinks that your child needs during the trip.
  • Does not have plush padding and hence may only be good for short trips. 

Cosco Apt 50, Installation Video


While most of the cheap car seats on this list will offer most of the features that you will find on a higher priced car seat, the Evenflo Tribute LX is my best inexpensive car seat.

It is small, lightweight, portable, is highly rated, comes with a machine washable cover and exceeds federal standards for safety

Given its features and Affordable price I would strongly recommend the Evenflo Tribute as the budget car seat of choice.​

Sheryl Brown

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